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Biggest Twitch
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Yesterday was a travel day as we flew back from Guwahati to Delhi, saying goodbye to Peter Lobo at Bagdogra.  We had a fantastic time with him and can't praise the organisation of the trip with him highly enough, not to mention the very special birds we saw with him, of course.  Do check out his website, www.birdingindiatours.net to see for yourselves, North East India is a great birding destination.
We’re flying back to the UK today but with a midday flight that still left some good birding time first thing in the morning.  We’ve been staying in comfort thanks to the kind hospitality of Peter Kaestner (a huge lister with over 8000 species on his life list), whom we met while birding in remote Nagaland only a few weeks ago.  Peter was kind enough to take us out birding at some of his local sites before he had to dash off to the office.  Another foggy morning but that didn’t stop us seeing new birds as we visited Ilkha Bird Park on the outskirts of Delhi, an area of swampy marshland alongside a river.  Peter had been to the site a couple of days earlier to stake out White-tailed Stonechat for us and knew exactly where to look for the bird.  After a short wait, a fine male hopped up into view followed shortly by a female.  The male flew in to within a few feet of us, so we enjoyed great looks.  Walking back to the car, we picked up Red Avadavat in the reedbed beside the track, a beautiful male, bright red with white spots, no missing him in the fog!  Other birds here included Large Gray Babblers, Siberian Chiffchaff (not a new addition as it’s not split on Clements), Brown-headed Gull, Bar-headed Geese, a troupe of Purple Swamphens and Asian Openbills.  Just time for a quick trip to the zoo, not that it was open so early in the morning but it’s a nesting site for Painted Stork, and our luck was in.  While we peered through the bars of the locked entrance gate, Peter suddenly shouted, ‘there’s one’ and we looked up to see a magnificent adult Painted Stork flapping slowly above us, over the trees and out to feed.  Job done, we headed back to Peter’s house for breakfast before he dashed off to work and we dashed off to the airport.  Four new birds in just over two hours!!  Thanks Peter for your exceptionally kind hospitality and great birding!
Bird species total: 4226The Biggest Twitch website will remain online in 2009 to keep you up to date with our birding adventures and let you know how we settle back into normal life, if we do!! We will also share more of our adventures and lots of photos from The Biggest Twitch.


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